The vendors at VMworld this year was what you would expect from one of the biggest conferences in tech. There was a lot of big vendors such as Dell/EMC, Lenovo, AWS, and IBM, but I really find interest in the small vendors. The up and coming technology that is the way of the future.
These are just three of the vendor’s i enjoyed seeing at VMworld 2018
You had some great vendors like Docker at the event. Containers are the way of the future and Docker is the leader in the industry. I really enjoyed chatting with them this year and I gained a lot of knowledge from the breakout sessions I went to where Docker was a topic (I don’t know if they lead those sessions or not), So much so that I really want to do a Docker for noobs video series where I video document my whole experience in learning Docker from zero to hero. But more about that later on.
This is a super awesome group of icelandic men/women. They specialize in DNS/DHCP/IPAM in the cloud solutions, and while it is not a new problem people have faced (As it pertains to private cloud) there is a lot that can be said about the people at the booth, they love what they do and they are passionate about the product. That is why I love this company and the booth. They know they are the best and they let the product do the talking for them. Really impressive company and even more impressive people.
This company has been killing it over the last three-year. Rubrik has been Dominating the backup space at what seems like hyper-speed. Although I have never used Rubrik as a backup solution from what people have said it’s an awesome intuitive product. They sell Rubrik based on future proofing your backup and anyone I have asked has not had any complaint with them. This year at VMworld Rubrik took home best of show. Which in my opinion is well deserved. The way Rubrik cares about the community of technologists and their work to be top of the line backup earns them that spot.
So VMworld 2018 is a wrap and i had the awesome privilege to attend this year! I would like to say first thing, if you have never been to VMWorld the networking opportunities alone is worth the price of admission. The technology you will be seeing most of the time first hand is worth the flight and hotel fee’s.
This year was full of great keynotes and some awesome vendors both large and small. So lets dive into it.
The keynotes were the usual setup, just like last year they came out on stage after a dramatic opening to the first day of vmworld, and just like last year they went hard on the usual products AWS/NSX/VSAN. Which I cannot blame them honestly its the way of the future, and will be the biggest money maker for VMware and its partners.
Day one and two were good keynotes with the usual technical announcements nothing major that we haven’t seen in the past, but some improvements on already existing technologies. With the exception of the 64Bit ARM platforms, which is awesome in my opinion. A lot of people have waited for this announcement and I got really good feedback from people i asked who had an interest in ESXi for the ARM platform.
Day three was interesting, with an hour long round table interview with the Sanjay Poonen with multiple C level exec’s from big non relevant companies, the external stream ended for people watching online and the interview that everyone was waited for began. For some reason VMware had the last keynote end with a hour long discussion with Malala, while the noble peace prize winner is admirable and a really fantastic human being i don’t see the point of having that discussion at a tech conference. Some people i talked to loved the interview, some not so much.I was in-between, i was impressed with her but didn’t really see the point. Some people took it at a jab of the technical community for being unfair to women in the field, and VMware highlighting that.
When you bring in someone like Malala it is impressive, but her message is so direct that it felt like VMware was trying to send a message to the tech world, whether purposely or it just happen to show like that some people took it that way.
As most of you already know VMworld 2017 was at Las Vegas and Barcelona this year. i had the privilege to be selected as a featured blogger this year for the Vegas conference. The Conference was huge, the booze was expensive and the memories where plentiful!
The Community presence this year was truly off the hook. You can feel that the conference while still being technology driven *Obviously* was alot more community driven. You had a big difference this year in the layout of the floor. last year the VM village ( The hang space ) was located on the second floor, Where it was really out of sight out of mind. This year it was in the same space as the Solution exchange, This led way to massive amounts of people not only participating in the community area of VMworld but also attending the fantastic community sessions at the VbrownBag Techtalk community.
That being said i also had the great privilege of being selected to speak at the VbrownBag Techtalks! If you want to check that out it is on YouTube below.
The Solutions Exchange
The solutions exchange was pretty standard this year. with a couple of great exceptions. First off the elephants in the room, Most of the well-known vendors came out in force, you had the Dell/EMC booth’s and the IBM of the world, but the real bread and butter for me was the new innovator booths. There was a lot of great small vendors this year accompanied with some really awesome tech.
Most of the smaller vendors i managed to get video interviews with that i am currently still working on and should have up within the week.
As always there was some fantastic Entertainers this year at the booth. Being in Las Vegas you have a lot of magicians and most of these guys are pro’s they are funny and truly amazing at what they do.
My personal favorite is Rob Strong @RobertStrong from the Lenovo booth. The guy is funny as hell and his tricks no matter how many times you see them really are top-notch and hard to catch onto. If you haven’t seen him go on twitter and give him a follow he is great.
And then probably the most surprising performer i saw this year was at the NetApp booth, they had an amazing violinist that was doing some crazy synth while drawing in huge crowds. I didn’t have the chance to catch her name but i did get a video of her performing Not a very good one but a video none the less.
The day one keynote was pretty good there was a couple of huge announcements made some we expected but confirmed. But first there was a crazy cello rock duo and a VR street painter fellow that did a pretty cool intro.
First off VMware on AWS was probably the biggest announcement of the Las Vegas show IMHO. I think it is just another way VMware is adapting to stay relevant. Working with AWS will ensure that VMware is relevant in the next era tech. It is a smart move on their part. But that was just one announcement.
There was also an announcement about App-Defense a cool feature that allows the hyper-visor Layer to look into the guest VM and establish a pattern of behavior for the guest applications. https://appdefense.vmware.com/
They were really pushing hard the NSX agenda VMware has been working hard on. which they should, IMHO if you do not run NSX you are behind on networking.
I attended three parties this year.
The VMUG party was pretty cool they had Michael Dell come out on stage and address the crowd which was cool for him to show his community love. I go to the VMUG party to put the faces to the names i see on twitter and touch base with some awesome networking opportunity.
The Zerto Party was off the hook they had a band called Voyage (A journey cover band) Which if i was a little more drunk i probably would have thought was actually Journey, that was an awesome party it was hosted at the house of blues at The Mandalay bay. I will try to get the video posted tonight or tomorrow.
This was my first Year as a VExpert and i had the opportunity to go to the VExpert party. It was by far my favorite party. Not only did i get to meet the titans of the VExpert community but it was a good time to just sit there and have a real chat with some true innovators and real community warriors. It was at the Pinball museum in Vegas which was awesome. they had over 100 different pinball machines from vintage to new. and also some very creepy dancing clown and Zoltar Machine. All in all the best party this year hands down.
In Conclusion thanks for an awesome VMworld this year. Hope to see everyone there again next year in Las Vegas.
1. Networking – This is a huge one every year close to 10,000 VMware geeks gather in one place for a 4-day extravaganza! They opportunity for networking is the best it will ever be, walking around talking to random people can be a little daunting but the best way to network is to sit at a random table during lunch. Everyone will welcome you and you just potentially made 8 new friends. If you only had one mission at VMworld I think this should be it. But there is a close second a VERY VERY close second.
2. Breakout session – These bad boys are the bread and butter of VMworld. If you are an introvert and hate talking to people but love technical content. This is where you will spend most of your days. The breakout sessions are sorted in a way from novice skill level to expert. If you want the most up to date information on the current technology of VMware and beyond the breakouts are the thing for you. Depending on the skill level selected you will get instructors that most of the time helped create the product the session is based on, and can tell you first-hand how it runs because they designed it. A lot of these breakout sessions are based on community speakers also. So, if you are looking for some career advice, or maybe just feeling a little stuck in your growth as a professional this is the place to be.
3. Hands on Labs – if the above is not an interest to you then the HOL section will surely do the trick. These bad boys are also available online. But at the HOL Section of VMworld they will have all the labs available and if needed they will have someone walk through them with you. I always love the HOL from VMware and an added bonus is they are nearly identical to some of the advanced professional level tests.
4. vBrownBag – vBrownBag sets up at every technology convention it seems like. But that by no means is a bad thing. If you haven’t heard of vBrownBag then I would look it up. It is a community driven project that is focused on technology, not just from VMware but a smorgasbord of companies. They will let anyone talk about any technology related subject (i.e. Certifications, Technology, Career, design) they are a pinnacle of the VMware community and you will get to see them in action the whole week.
5. Technology – Some people may be wondering why this isn’t higher on the list. I mean VMworld at its core is a technology conference, right? We’ll all the technology keynotes and announcement will be readily available across the world almost instantly. BUT that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool as hell when you hear the CEO of VMware announce something in the moment. And Most of the time there is an exclusive VMworld HOL or some sort of session that goes more in-depth about the product being announced. But even if we step back from the VMware products for a Second. There is A LOT of vendors at VMworld, some are big like EMC NETAPP and HP. But a vast majority of them are small vendors most still in ABC funding period. This is where the innovation is coming from, that is the future of technology in my opinion. So, going to VMworld to hear the keynote is great. But the real win is seeing the small vendors and vetting out the future technology we will be seeing.
6. Keynotes – The keynotes are great you get the announcement the moment it leaves the speakers mouth. And that is pretty cool. Being a newbie blogger I love getting that first tweet out about the new product someone announces or the awesome catchphrase someone used in a slide.
7. IT’S VEGAS BABY! – Going to VMworld is not an ordinary week. You will be talking, screaming, laughing and depending on how much you drink potentially crying. The whole climate of Vegas is just different. From the moment, you touch down at McCarran you see the big Historical “Welcome to Vegas” sign and from that point on where ever you came from will forgotten until the flight back. The lights are bright, the people are rude and the slots are noisy in Vegas. So, getting a chance to see a city that truly never sleeps is an awesome experience.
8. Discounts – This point might seem strange. Why travel to Vegas for discounts on VMware course material? Well that is because the course discounts and certification discounts are notable. There are discounts on VMware training, VMware certifications, Books, Potential Vendors products and much more. All vary in size. If I recall last year there was 50% off Exams and 20% off all books in the VMware store. Also, that isn’t even going into the savings from vendors if you meet with them and have a meaningful conversation. How much can you potentially save on that SolarWinds license if you have a 30-minute conversation with the engineer who made it?
9. The Parties – Out of all the tech conferences I have been to VMworld has the best parties by far. And it’s not just VMworld ran also. There is a lot of vendor and community parties available the whole week. The best vendor party by far and one that must be attended is the Veeam party. It is off the hook. About 1000 people good music awesome food and a river of alcoholic beverages. If you are a VMUG member there is a VMUG party also It is smaller but still awesome. There are people from all over the VMUG nation attending and usually have some special guests show up also. The big shabang is the VMworld Party. Last year it was at Las Vegas speedway and they had Fallout Boy headlining which was OK but the place was cool. In the vender of the speed way they had 2 DJ’s and people were allowed to go on the track in some underpowered track cars.
10. Tax Deduction – If your employer wont front the cost of going to Vmworld that is OK because it is all tax-deductible. So you may get a portion of that expense back. Just make sure you save your receipts! Obviously, I am not a tax professional so check with them. But in Massachusetts it is a tax deduction.
Last chance to get the Early bird discount for Vmworld Ends Monday 6/12/17 Register below!